Spectrum N 2-8-0 changes

fatalxsunrider43 Apr 28, 2010

  1. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

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    Hello ! I just missed out on a Spectrum N 2-8-0 Consolidated on the bay. The seller e-mails me to say that it would be best to wait for the new release of this Engine as
    Bachmann is going to make changes, the new version will be able to run on DC/DCC
    much the same as the Athearn Challenger & Big Boy, can anyone verify this.

    fatalxsunrider43
     
  2. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    The new Spectrum 2-8-0 will have a factory decoder installed in the locomotive. That is correct. It isn't worth the suggested asking price.
     
  3. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

    The Bachmann Consolidation is the more modern version of 2-8-0's that are available on the market right now. It is larger than the Athearn and the others. The existing ones look great and work very well with the factory installed traction tires and a break in period.

    List price is $165.00 as per Bachmann's page. That is with decoder installed with their labor and not yours. E-tail price will be lower, as it usually is. To not mess around with the innards of a steam engine or tender or whatever, coupled with the separate purchase of one's own decoder, it is absolutely worth the price and who knows, maybe Bachmann has eliminated the need for the extended break in period. It is a good runner and excellent puller and the paltry three that I have on my small and poorly decorated layout get good service and are my favorites.
     
  4. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    The DCC models will be in stock mid to late summer. They should have the same dual mode decoder that has come in the Heavy Mountain and the H4 (2-6-6-2). The new version will probably have the decoder installed in the tender using the updated tenders and have multiple wires between the loco and tender.

    I don't normally like wires between the tender and loco but one thing I have found after tinkering with my H4, now you can replace the excuse for a filler weight where the decoder used to go in the boiler with some lead that will drastically improve the tractive effort of the loco. By doing that in my H4, it gained almost a half oz of weight, about a 15-20% increase.

    The DCC models list at $200.
    The DC models (remaining inventory from the current model year) list at $165.

    That should put the selling price at around $125-135 on the DCC version. The DC versions currently are around $90-100 in LHS. 2-8-0's from some E-tailers and a certain Ebay shop can be had as low as $75 including shipping.

    The 2-8-0 is a very good loco. If DCC is a concern and you are not comfortable hard wiring decoders, then the new loco's will be a value to you. If not, just pick up the road you want now.
     
  5. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

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    Skipgear:
    May I ask your opinion of the decoder in the H-4? I'm not really a dcc guy.
    Main use would be "doing laps" on a now digitracks equiped "N-Track" club layout...
    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  6. LehmanNWMS

    LehmanNWMS TrainBoard Member

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    I will chime in here really quik. Club member has one, it seems to do well enough but its bare bones. You can do speed tables, address changes and lights... thats about it. Its a "good enough" decoder to work until it fries, then swap it out with a good one from TCS. FYI, He plans to cut out the old decoder and wire in a new one in due time. Nice running engine though, we had it and my cab foward pulling about 70+ cars around the lay out.
     
  7. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    As mentioned above, it is a pretty basic decoder. It lacks a CV5 Max voltage setting and speed tables. It only has a lighting effect for dimming the headlight.

    They do seem to work fine though, especially for steam where speed matching is not as important. Low speed throttle control is good. I see no need to change the decoder for another unless it fails.
     
  8. Fredsmi

    Fredsmi TrainBoard Member

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    Is something wrong with it (not an "A"), or is the price just too high?
     
  9. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    I think what Bob is refrencing is the $30+ increase in street price is more than the cost of the decoder that it would take to convert an original version.

    What many forget is that for more than half the people out there, they would not only be paying for a decoder but also paying somebody to install it which brings the price more realistically inline. Now that Bachmann is doing the install for you, that is now covered by their warranty should something happen which is an added benifit.
     
  10. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

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    I have been looking at the last versions and they can be had on line now for $50.00 plus shipping, although the ATSF in not on the list of $50.00 models. Have to add the price of the Decoder as well. A good point was brought up, and that is, to DCC the current version, you have to remove the weight from under the boiler to make room for the Decoder,
    this is a serious reduction in weight that reduces adhesion. In my case, a 20 car train would be the most that my proposed Consolidated would be working with, so maybe the weight reduction would not be of concern. Decisions, decision. Just what shall this N scaler do ????

    fatalxsunrider43
     
  11. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

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    Guys:
    Thanks for the info.
    All I need is "basics" right now-just so I have a couple locos that can run on the club layout at shows etc. (I'm assuming I can still run these OK on DC at home...)
    Even the headlight function is really optional to me as locos in my era didn't usually run with them on in the daytime...
    Jim
     
  12. ceiteach1

    ceiteach1 TrainBoard Member

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    Why didn't Bachmann put a quality decoder in this model ? Surely they could cut a deal with a decoder company on a high volume purchase and give their customers a top notch decoder, with full functionality. This would warrant the hefty price for this loco.
    I'm sure it's more profitable to use an old decoder. It certainly doesn't do their customers any favors though.

    Same story with Atlas. Are they continuing to use a low functioning decoder in the DCC equipped locos this year ? Value add to me, for the list prices requested, is to step up to installing a higher function decoder.

    Keith.
     
  13. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    It's pretty simple, Bachmann and Atlas don't make decoders, they have to buy them just like the rest of us. The decoders that both Bachmann and Atlas use are early generation Lenz decoders. I'm sure they get a good deal on them but they are one more step of markup in the chain that ups the price more in the end.

    Instead of the decoder going from Lenz, to distributor, to shop with a percentage of mark up each step, you add one more time the product is changing hands: Lenz, to Bachmann, to distrib, to shop. Each time it changes hands, somebody is making a profit on the exchange. Each exchange results in a higher final price. What would sell from Lenz as a $20 decoder is now adding $30-40 to the price of the loco. The last time I looked, Lenz decoders weren't exactly cheap to begin. Lenz and now it looks like NCE seem to be the only ones willing to wholesale a basic decoder to the manufactures. If they were including full featured decoders, that is a aftermarket sale that the provider would potentially loose. Why should Digitrax or TCS sell full featured decoders to Atlas or Bachmann at a much smaller margin, then loose that potential sales later. Also, it seems most of the decoder companies are struggling as is to keep up with demand, I'm not sure they could handle a couple thousand extra decoders a month to supply.
     
  14. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    For me, the decoders in Atlas engines and in the Bachmann 44t are fine: they control the engine and its ligths. That's enough for me. The 44t had some startup troubles (it couldn't crawl away), but the decoder gives you enough options to change that.
     
  15. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    This has been my experience, too. Some day I may change out the decoder for something a little finer, but I fiddled with the CVs a bit and I am pleased with the performance.

    The MAIN thing for me was the non-functioning "claw" couplers that they put on the 44-tonner. This was especially confounding for me because this is a switcher.

    I am still considering ordering one of these 2-8-0s.
     
  16. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    And even that is not a real problem for me: I used the 44t as the switcher on our club yard and had no trouble uncoupling it from cars. We do not have magnets but we use uncoupler pins. Since all the cars have MTL, accumates or McHenry couplers, it is not a problem that the 44t has a rigid coupler.
     
  17. Joe Daddy

    Joe Daddy TrainBoard Member

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    :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

    While I model in HO, I completely agree with your premise, I've given up on doing my own decoders and limit myself to plug and play or replacements. I have 4 Bachman Connies (HO) with factory Tsunami's and they are fabulously reliable. Most of them were snatched off eBay below $150 and I have no regrets. I would like to see Bachmann come out with a 2-8-2 with the Tsunami at a similar price.

    Joe Daddy
     

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